For me, chronic fatigue and pain plague my everyday life. I’m generally a very positive and quirky person but it’s an everyday struggle. But I will say that I came a long way. When the fatigue started and just never let up, I became pretty obsessed with figuring out what was the root cause of it. I just so badly wanted to know what was wrong with me, so that I could become “normal” again.
So here are 3 possible reasons from personal experience of what could possibly be causing your fatigue. Even if you don’t have the typical symptoms, it would be worthwhile to get the testing done just to rule it out.
1) Celiac Disease: I think most people think of upset stomach and diarrhea when they think of someone with Celiac Disease. Many people including myself have Celiac Disease and don’t have the “typical” symptoms. I was diagnosed when I was so ill that I couldn’t get out of bed without assistance.
My mom had to come over to my townhome and help me. I couldn’t even keep down soup or water. My stomach burned an incredible amount. I’ve always prided myself on being pretty mentally tough but I was incoherent at the time. I was sleeping 20 hours a day and I barely remember the interactions I had with people who visited me during that time.
Then I got my blood test back and it showed that I had tested positive for Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies (tTG-IgA). The next step was getting a biopsy done. My GI also did other blood tests for extra confirmation. Everything came back positive. Of course, then I started eating gluten free. After about a few weeks, I would say I was coherent again and slowly feeling better.
I’ve spoken to others that have Celiac Disease and they told me that their depression went away when they started a gluten free diet. Having an autoimmune disease can affect so many parts of your body, so I truly believe getting tested for Celiac Disease is something you should rule in or out. I would suggest doing the bloodwork first and if it’s positive, then go ahead and get the biopsy done.
2) Allergies: You might have food and/or environmental allergies. You could be consuming something on a daily basis that is weakening your body and causing fatigue. One interesting fact to note is if you have an allergy to pollen, you could have a reaction when eating fruits and vegetables. The best way to avoid that is to eat fruits or veggies that have natural coverings (i.e. bananas; watermelon, etc.) or peel off the skins.
Another one would be if you have an allergy to mold and you live in an area where the snow is starting to melt. When I visit Canada in the springtime, I get horribly ill. I have a lot of allergies, so if you have any questions, I’m your girl.
Ask your allergist to do skin tests and blood tests. If you do test positive and you do not respond to the typical allergy medications, ask your allergist about immunotherapy shots.
3) Genetic Disease: Maybe you’ve already gotten blood tested and so far, every test looks normal. BUT you definitely don’t feel normal and you know it’s not in your head. I know my list just barely scratches the surface and I will do follow up blogs on this topic.
But let’s just say that in this scenario you’ve done a lot of tests from what I’ve already recommended to testing for Lymes Disease to deficiencies to Autoimmune Diseases. AND still nothing. I would highly recommend getting tested for genetic diseases. Most genetic testing is not covered by insurance but many research institutes will test for free and you can mail in your blood.
I recently learned that I have a genetic disease that affects my liver and lungs called Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency. I will cover this disease in another blog post but for example the Medical University of Southern Carolina and the Alpha-1 Foundation offer free testing.
Again, this is just a very brief list of what you can look into if you’re facing chronic and debilitating fatigue. Comment below or on social media and let me know what other fatigue related topics you would like me to cover next. Please don’t feel alone in your quest to find answers. Feel free to share your story and frustrations with me.
Being friends with others going through health problems is such a tremendous help because they understand what you’re going through. My mint green nail lacquer color is named after one of my best friends “Patricia” who also battles with an autoimmune disease. She’s a badass and has been such an incredible support system.